Jordan Thomas Mursinna

Visiting Lecturer

History of Science

My work focuses on the politics of natural history in the early nineteenth century. My dissertation, "Anarchy in the Order of Nature: Conservatism, Reform, and Controversy in British Natural History, 1800-1850," examined the factionalization of naturalists along social, intellectual, and political lines in the decades after the French revolution. In it, I traced the careers of both adherents and detractors to William Sharp Macleay's strange "circular and quinary" system of classification to reveal the interplay of philosophical and political commitments in the study of life.


"'A Mean Quarrelsome Spirit:' Controversy in British Systematics, 1822-1836," Journal of the History of Biology, v. 56(1), December 2023.

"The Berkeley Pipeline Program: Demystifying the History PhD for Students from Historically Excluded Backgrounds," Perspectives on History, v. 61(5), May 2023.

"The Epistemic Stakes of Shellfish Classification: Disciplinary Disputes in English Natural History, 1803-1843," Journal of the Oxford University History Society, XV, 2021.

Book Reviews

Bruce Clark and Sébastien Dutreuil, eds. Writing Gaia: The Scientific Correspondence of James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022. H-Environment, H-Net Reviews. August, 2023.

Daniel S. Brooks, James DiFrisco, and William C. Wimsatt, eds. Levels of Organization in the Biological Sciences. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2021. H-Sci-Med-Tech, H-Net Reviews. June, 2022.


Berkeley-Uppsala Research Fellowship, Uppsala University, 2022

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, University of California, Berkeley, 2021

Research Interests

Biology and natural history

Science and politics

Classification, systematics, and taxonomy


B.A., High Honors, University of California, Berkeley, 2015

M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2020

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2023

Jordan Thomas Mursinnna


2314 Dwinelle